The Guardian Turns a Water Pistol Fight into an Islamic Wet t-Shirt Contest

I found it refreshing to see pictures of a young Iranians taking part in a water pistol fight in Tehran in The Guardian.

Until I realize that every single picture is of soaked women. Anyone else feel weirded out by this?

water gun fight
That’s the kind of side-eye I’m talking about, sister. Image via Amir/Demotix/Corbis.

I’m confused as to why only women are featured (with the exception of one picture showing a man dumping a water bottle on a woman), since there are plenty of men in the background. The pictures have a sort of “Islamic wet t-shirt contest” feel to me.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t see anything wrong with a water pistol fight during a hot Tehran summer. According to Golnaz Esfandiari’s post for Radio Free Europe, “There were also gatherings for paintball, kite flying, and blowing bubbles. All the events are said to have been organized through Facebook.” These all sound really fun. However, I definitely have a problem with the arrests of several people who participated in the water fight–throwing people in jail for trying to keep cool, have fun, and not hurt anybody is not okay.

But since this is a media-focused blog, I have to bring up the fact that there aren’t any men in the pictures used by The Guardian. Since several pictures of this event turned up online, I doubt that there aren’t any with men in them at all. It seems odd to only feature pictures of women, especially when you consider the layer added by the sexualized stereotype of Muslim women longing to rip of their veils and get sexy times on.

What are your thoughts?